Proudly Serving Middle Tennessee Since 2006

Guiding Families Through The Probate Process

Keeton Law Firm, PLLC can handle the probate of the estate of your passed loved one. This can be a difficult time for you, and we can help take care of all the details so you can spend time with your family.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal process of administering the deceased’s assets through the Chancery Court in the county the person resided at the time of death. If there is a Last Will and Testament, it has to be probated to have any legal effect. The family of the deceased will have to perform a reasonable and diligent search to locate the Last Will and Testament of the deceased family member.

Probate With A Last Will And Testament

If the deceased family member left a Last Will and Testament, then the Chancery Court will admit the Last Will and Testament to probate. The Chancery Court will appoint a personal representative, also called an executor, to administer the probate assets in accordance with the wishes of the deceased as recorded in their Last Will and Testament.

Probate Without A Last Will And Testament

If the deceased did not leave a Last Will and Testament, then the Chancery Court will appoint a personal representative, called an administrator, to administer the probate assets in compliance with the law of “intestate succession.” When someone dies without a will, or intestate, then state law dictates how their assets are distributed.

Letters Testamentary Or Letters Of Administration

The executor of an estate with a Last Will and Testament will be issued “Letters Testamentary” from the Chancery Court located in the county where the deceased family member resided. The administrator of an estate without a Last Will and Testament will be issued “Letters of Administration.” The Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, whichever the case may be, are needed to give the executor or the administrator the legal authority to act for the estate.

Debts And Assets

Creditors will have to be given legal notice of the opening of the estate and may submit a formal claim against the estate. Once the claims of creditors are resolved, if there are no objections made and the Chancery Court allows asset distribution, the estate can then be divided pursuant to the terms of the Last Will and Testament (or pursuant to Tennessee law if there was no Last Will and Testament).

Keeton Law Firm, PLLC can assist in ensuring your passed family member’s last wishes are kept. Please give us a call at 931-400-2548 to probate your family member’s estate or reach out online to get started.